A 20-year-old student from Mumbai studying at the University of Southern California, was arrested April 11 and charged with sexually assaulting another student in a campus dormitory.
Armaan Premjee, a sophomore at the Marshall School of Business at USC, was arrested at 11 a.m. that morning by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery and Homicide division, which usually investigates high-profile cases, USC campus police told India-West. He was released at 8 p.m. the same day on bail of $100,000. His next court appearance is May 2.
In 2015, Premjee was awarded an Ambassador Scholar Award by The National Society of High School Scholars for his studies at USC. His twitter profile notes that he was formerly a state director for NSHSS in Maharashtra, and – with the organization – built housing for low-income people in Mumbai. He was expected to graduate in 2019.
According to a brief report from the Los Angeles Police Department, the incident occurred early morning April 1 on the USC campus. The assault was immediately reported to USC’s Department of Public Safety, which then turned it over to the LAPD for investigation. At press time, a spokesman for the LAPD had not returned calls from India-West regarding the investigation and why it waited 10 days before arresting Premjee.
Chris Cousins, a member of USC’s Kappa Sigma fraternity, to which Premjee belonged, told India-West that the young student had been expelled from the fraternity before his arrest. Cousins said the fraternity knew about the incident and the pending investigation.
Kappa Sigma issued a statement, noting: “This individual was immediately suspended and has already been removed from The USC Delta-Eta Chapter of The Kappa Sigma Fraternity.”
“We have been working closely with Title IX, Kappa Sigma Nationals and the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Leadership Development throughout this entire process to ensure that the proper measures are taken. His actions are absolutely not condoned by the Kappa Sigma Fraternity.”
According to a report in the campus newspaper, the Daily Trojan, Premjee said that he wrote a letter of resignation to the president of the Kappa Sigma fraternity prior to his arrest.
“I know incidents like these get fraternities kicked out,” Premjee said. “I didn’t want to put the brothers at risk.”
Zen Vuong, of USC’s media relations division, told India-West she could not confirm whether Premjee was still enrolled at the university or whether he had been expelled following his arrest. Vuong directed this publication to a USC Web site specifically dealing with sexual harassment on campus.
A statement on the university’s Web site noted: “The University of Southern California expects that all members of the university community – students, faculty, staff and friends – should be able to pursue their work and education in a safe environment, free from sexual coercion, violence and sexual intimidation.” “The university community is committed to fostering a safe campus environment where sexual misconduct and violence are unacceptable, and where survivors or those who believe they were harmed by another in violation of this policy are provided support and avenues of redress as appropriate.”
“All members of the university community are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that does not infringe upon the rights of others,” stated the university.
Sexual assault is on the rise at USC, according to the Daily Trojan. In 2016, 34 sexual assault cases on campus were reported from USC’s Department of Public Safety and the LAPD. In 2015, the university reported 41 sexual offense cases, including 13 rapes.
The campus paper also reported that Premjee said he could not discuss specifics about the case due to legal reasons. Robinder Samudrala, his attorney, declined repeated requests from the paper for comment.
Only one-third of sexual assault cases on campuses nationwide are reported to law enforcement